In a one hour and 20 minute special session following their regular City Council meeting Monday night, Taylorville aldermen voted 6 to 2, to direct City Attorney Rocci Romano to draft an amendment to the city's code allowing city residents to choose the Taylorville Fire Department ambulance when calling 911. The city is currently served by 2 for-profit ambulance services, Dunn's and Sutton's Ambulance Services.
The Council Chambers were packed with spectators for the discussion, with most being ownership and staff of the 2 for-profit ambulance services. The public was allowed to speak after each alderman gave their position on the issue, with all 7 of those speaking asking the Council to leave the policy as is, making the Taylorville Fire Department ambulance used on a backup basis when the 2 for-profit ambulance services are already on calls.
All but 2 of the aldermen were in favor of changing the Taylorville Fire Department ambulance an option for 911 callers, but Mayor Greg Brotherton was against the proposal citing increased employee and pension costs as more personnel are needed for the Fire Department to make ambulance runs.
The whole issue of changing present city policy on when the Fire Department ambulance runs, all started at the September 4th meeting of the Council's Emergency Services Committee meeting, when Fire Chief Mike Crews reported to the committee that one of the for-profit ambulance services took over 20 minutes to reach their call. Crews, in the minutes from that meeting, stated that the issue would be on the agenda for the next Emergency Services Committee Meeting, and that both for-profit ambulance services would be invited.
But, in the October 2nd Emergency Services Committee meeting, there was no discussion about whether the 20-minute ambulance call Crews reported on in September, was investigated, and instead, the proposal to make the Taylorville Fire Department ambulance an option for 911 callers, was discussed.
In the discussions last night, aldermen Bruce Jones also accused Emergency Services Committee chair Shawn Burtle, of being disrespectful to Mayor Greg Brotherton by lining up 2 other Council members who, along with Burtle, called the special Council meeting after Brotherton would not call a Special Council meeting. Brotherton was not notified of the special meeting.
Here are some of the comments of various Council members from last night's special Taylorville City Council meeting:
You can hear the entire comments of all the aldermen and Mayor Brotherton here:
Again, the Taylorville Council voted 6 to 2 to direct City Attorney Rocci Romano to draft an amendment to the city's code allowing city residents to choose the Taylorville Fire Department ambulance when calling 911. The draft amendment must now go to the Emergency Services Committee for review, then a recommendation to the full Council.